What is the purpose of life?

Life has got itself in to a spot of bother. It has turned down a blind alley; got itself in to an endless loop; it is a stuck record, skipping on a scratch; it needs to sit itself down in a corner and give itself a damn good talking to.

The problem is, in taking a monumental step in to self-awareness, life has encountered a troublesome side effect - the bizarre need to justify its own existence; to explain itself; to ask, "Why am I here?" In the very act of accomplishing one of its most significant feats of progress, life has managed to forget what it is for. It is not man who asks, "What is the purpose of life?" it is life itself, for we each of us is life. I am life. You are life. He/She is life. ("It" is life, but it belongs to a previous incarnation. "It" belongs to a period of time before it could take offense at being referred to as "it.")

In making this great leap forward life had failed to look in the one serious place where the danger might lurk. It had neglected to take itself in to consideration. It is as if it has caught a glimpse of itself in a mirror and let out an involuntary shriek of fear. Further still, life has not yet experienced that welcome feeling of relief - "Oh, it's only me." Even worse, life hates what it sees. Like a crow seeing its own reflection in a house window, it has gone at its own image in a most alarming manner, all flailing wings, outstretched scratching claws, and viciously pecking beak.

The monstrous irony of life becoming aware of itself is that it could be its undoing. Life has hobbled itself. It has short-circuited its own progress. We are not coping well with our self-awareness. In trying to answer the question of the purpose of life's existence, life has driven itself to the brink of its own extinction - certainly the edge of the abyss for this human branch of evolutionary progress. While feeling the need to justify man's existence, man has treated each other in a most inhumane manner. He forces man to work hard, to live in humiliating poverty, tells him he has to earn a living, enslaves his fellow man, and is rapidly rendering his precious home uninhabitable.

As grim as this prognosis might be, we do not need to remain as helpless bystanders. On the contrary, it is imperative that we do all we can to help life learn the reason for its own existence: Life doesn't have a purpose - doesn't need a purpose. Life doesn't need to justify its own existence, or agonise over why it is here. Life just is.

If we want to weave God in to the equation, we can replace "life" with "God". God is life is God. This outlook enhances a relationship with God. It no longer renders man an impotent partner. We are helping God attain his goal of growth and unhindered self-awareness. He is in the throes of being, and we can play our part in that process. Our role is vital. God has proved to be somewhat forgetful. He told Moses, "I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be," but he consistently forgets that he is in the process of becoming. Reminding him of this, by reminding ourselves, is no trivial part to play.

What can you do to play an active part in life's evolutionary progress?

Sit Still. Call it prayer, or meditation, or "occupying a space" - call it what you will, it makes no difference. We need to spend more time doing nothing, and less time labouring for what does not exist. Taking every opportunity to remain still and quiet is a necessary and active pursuit replete with unimaginable promise.

Think. Don't Think. The great secret to thinking is not to think. Out of nothing explodes life. Stillness, calm - from these things bursts the "Aha!" moment. Don't force it - it'll happen. And when it does, let it.

Slow Down. Take the advice of Miranda Priestley and, "by all means move at a glacial pace." The evolutionary process is slow. There is no rush. Time is inconsequential.

Be. Life just is, and the same applies to you. You simply are. You don't need to justify life. You don't need to earn your keep, or fight to survive. The way of life is merely to exist. Revel in the belief that "ignorance is bliss." Don't name anything, refuse to define things. Just experience.

Be Healthy. Refuse to pollute your body with the crippling junk that man appears to be dead-set on endlessly producing to the detriment of his very existence. Eat well. Sleep well. All the while, breathe correctly. (ABC).

Imagine. Create. Life could be evolving towards a corporeal life-form that does not rot away and decompose. A life-form that is able to renew itself indefinitely. A sensing, feeling being that is able to experience life joyfully forever. A race of humans finally able to love openly and unconditionally.

Don't Be Afraid. Don't fear death. The mere fact that life has manifested itself through you once does not mean that it is a one-off deal. Why should it not mean that it could happen again? Just because it hasn't does not mean that it won't. Every indication is that we are in the very early moments of this extraordinary development. The human species is in its infancy. We have not yet learned to crawl, let alone walk. Certainly it is bad luck to be born during such an unforgiving time, but that need not write off experiencing life again during a more carefree period. Life simply may not have learned to remember - yet. After all, each new manifestation of life has to remind itself that it does not need a reason to be alive.

Love. Most importantly, love yourself. God and love and life are synonymous. Focus on loving yourself and your love for others (and for life) will grow exponentially. In order to love yourself you need to forgive yourself. If you don't think you need to forgive yourself then you haven't done it yet and you will continue to be stuck. Forgiveness is a happy by-product of understanding. So, get to know yourself. Don't think in generalities. Social science has a tendency to lump all the categories in to one: All men do such and such...all women do so and so...Ask yourself, "Why am I like this?" "Why do I do so-and-so?" Focus in on yourself. Teach life self-awareness. Look at yourself in the mirror without attacking yourself. See yourself as you really are and accept it without judgement.

Remain Positive. Life is not able to regress. Once it has learned how to handle its capacity for self-awareness without destroying itself, it will not be able to unlearn it. Life learns and grows and develops. From the moment of the big bang, when life exploded out of nothing, this universe is forever expanding outwards. Like a blossoming flower. Remaining positive does not necessarily mean being optimistic. By all means be pessimistic. Identify the many areas in life that man has managed to completely screw up. Negate everything, as Krishnamurti might say. You can do this and still cultivate a healthy faith.

Finally, in summation, we could say, the purpose of life is to remind life itself that it does not need a purpose. Every new manifestation of life has to tell itself this truth until the message is firmly imprinted. We might yet be able to save ourselves.